ALMA, Mich.-- Alma took over down the stretch to earn a 56-47 victory over Trine in MIAA women's basketball action Wednesday night in Art Smith Arena.
The Scots outscored the Thunder 13-4 over the final 3:30 of the game. That capped off a fourth quarter that saw Alma hold a 23-12 advantage. Lauren Higgins came off the bench to score 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting to pace the Scots. Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) paced Trine with 12 points as she knocked down 4-of-9 from the field. Trine fell to 11-5 overall and 4-4 in the MIAA. Alma improved to 6-10 overall, 1-7 in conference play.
Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) also reached double-figures for the Thunder as she scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Trine was held to a season-low 27.7 percent (15-of-55) effort from the field.
The Scots were able to overcome 20 turnovers thanks to 47.4 percent (18-of-38) shooting from the field. Sophie Guzman also reached double-figures with 11 points. Tara Padgett added nine points, while Raeanna Zink added eight points off the bench. Alma's bench outproduced their Trine counterparts by a 29-12 margin.
Neither team led by more than six points before the deciding stretch. A Higgins layup broke a 43-all tie with 2:38 left. That was followed by a Padgett three which pushed the Scot lead to 48-43.
Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) hit a free throw, but Alma kept things rolling on the other end. Guzman hit a jumper and added a pair of free throws as Trine came up empty on the offensive end. That pushed the score to 52-44 with 42 seconds left. Higgins and Guzman put the game away at the line with four-straight made free throws.
Higgins scored eight points and made all three of her field goal attempts in the final quarter. She also knocked down both of her free throw attempts in the fourth quarter.
Trine opens the second half of MIAA play this Saturday, Jan. 23. The Thunder will host No. 5 Hope at 1 p.m. in Hershey Hall. The game is part of a doubleheader that will be followed by a men's contest against Olivet at 3 p.m.